A Freedom Checklist...

You know how some people are addicted to their lists...they write everything down in lists...

They have shopping lists, that they leave behind...how many a times have I picked one of those lonely lists abandoned in some supermarket cart, once they check out...then they have to do lists, and they have invitation lists, and wedding lists, and guests lists, and cooking lists, and music lists, and lovers lists, and web lists, and company lists, and fortune lists and awards lists, and geographical lists, and...

All is listed...

I have only one list. My freedom list. It's actually a checklist. It has no order of priority, it's chaotic and haphazardly jotted down...I've had it on my wall for some years now...and I keep adding to it...I keep adding...

- buildings destroyed (V)
- homes in ruins (V)
- streets in rubble (V)
- mosques and churches destroyed(V)
- infrastructure smashed (V)
- checkpoints and barracks everywhere (V)
- parks turned into cemeteries (V)
- libraries burned down (V)
- schools in shambles (V)
- Universities closed down (V)
- hospitals dilapidated (V)
- black market for medication and medical equipment (V)
- doctors, nurses, academics, scientists killed or fled (V)
- unemployment over 50% (V)
- soaring rate of inflation (V)
- rampant disease, cancer rates soaring (V)
- deformed babies and infertile women (V)
- environmental pollution, toxic waste (V)
- breakdown of state services (V)
- mountains of garbage and pools of sewage(V)
- a savage poverty (V)
- archeological sites and antiquities destroyed and stolen (V)
- museums and galleries plundered and/or closed down
- children sold, abducted and trafficked (V)
- street children and orphans in thousands (V)
- trading in human organs (V)
- women abandoned and loss of rights (V)
- rape of women, honor killings, trafficking and kidnapping (V)
- forced prostitution (V)
- eliminating homosexuals (V)
- unprecedented gang crimes (V)
- drug cultivation, trafficking and addiction (V)
- prisons crammed with innocent (V)
- grotesque forms of torture (V)
- long lists of arbitrary arrests and executions (V)
- drought, rivers totally drying up (V)
- no running water (V)
- electricity a thing of the past (V)
- trees cut and fields abandoned (V)
- total reliance on imports (V)
- smuggling and illegal selling of oil (V)
- industrial and agricultural output zero (V)
- malignant corruption, bribery, clientelism, patronage (V)
- fraud and forgery of contracts, diplomas, tenders etc..(V)
- theft of public and state property and funds (V)
- malignant sectarianism and ethnic chauvinism (V)
- infiltration of state by foreign intelligence agents (V)
- American military bases everywhere (V)
- Iranian agents and operatives everywhere (V)
- discrimination according to ethnicity, religion, sect (V)
- eviction from homes (V)
- appropriation of lands and homes (V)
- forced exile (V)
- refugees in thousands (V)
- maimed and amputated in thousands (V)
- thousands of dead (V)
- killings, bombs, explosions daily (V)
- journalists targeted and killed (V)
- censorship and banning of books (V)
- total breakdown of cultural, artistic and literary life (V)
- a full comeback of ideological obscurantism (V)
- satellite TV channels (V)
- 100 toilet newspapers (V)

By the way (V) stands for DONE.

This is an open list and by no means exhaustive...It shall be updated regularly with more freedom checklist items...

And am holding on to this list, my freedom list...you will not find it abandoned in some supermarket cart on your way out...

Painting: Iraqi artist, Muhamad Muhraddin, 2007.

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